This post is prompt 25 of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and edtech enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week.
All conferences can be Professional Learning, but not all Professional Learning happens at conferences.
I want to tell you about both the conferences and the professional learning I am doing this summer.
I am attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio, TX this June.I hope to attend both iNACOL and GaETC in the fall as well. Conferences are a great way to escape the pressures of life for a couple of days and immerse myself with my people and start to open my perspective to new ways to look at the opportunities surrounding me. They are expensive in both time and money however, so I have developed my own strategy for attending conferences. I would welcome others who frequent conferences to add their thoughts as I am always looking for new ways to learn at a conference.
I always make sure I have my social media set in advance of any conference. Sometimes I make additions to the accounts I follow based on the program or when I meet someone at the conference; but I always prepare this in advance of any conference. I started to curate lists of the top folks I follow in advance of the ISTE conference and share those. I use Listly for that and share in the form of blog posts: #ISET14, #ISTE15 (not sure why I didn’t do this in 2016), and #ISTE17. With all that planning, you might be surprised to learn that I insert intentional white space for unplanned collaborating, thinking, and just being still!
I am lucky to have a job where my supervisor believes in investing in my professional knowledge by sending me to conferences! I have given a great deal of thought about what works best for me before/during/after a conference and offer some suggestions for: How to schedule a Conference – and the importance of Reflection before leaving the conference – and even just sharing notes like after #iNACOL13. I think a conference is a unique chance to be both a generalist and a specialist; I attend both tech-centric and general education sessions at my conferences.
Aside from my conferences which are immersive and intensive professional learning opportunities, I love online learning for my professional development!
I love MOOCs. My blog is full of the goodness I see in Massive Open Online Courses for educators. MOOCs to check out for this summer or in the future:
Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students Michael B. Horn is one of the teachers.
Blended Learning with edX I am currently in this course.
K-12 Blended & Online Learning I love this one so much I successfully completed it twice.
Almost a MOOC, Atomic Learning, Hoonuit, offers Professional Learning to your Inbox: 2017 Summer Session. With prizes. Yes, prizes. 🙂
Certified Educator Programs
Many #EdTech vendors have certified educator programs now. It is a win-win too. With the field of Instructional Technology being new to education this can provide teachers with a way to demonstrate their passion and expertise. Vendors are so smart to invest in this familiarity too! They have experts on their products in schools and are providing them with a valued credential which teachers are sure to share and display! Part of an online professional learning course we built and administered for teachers this summer offered certifications from Nearpod, ThingLink, and Newsela. Earlier this year I took part in a certification program from VoiceThread and our district became certified by Common Sense Education for our Digital Citizenship program. I have recently joined the cK-12 Certified Educator Program. I may have the longest email signature ever.
I love to blog. Blogging settles my thoughts and helps me stop reacting and start to strategically think through what I believe as an educator – everyone needs that! If you look around and like my blog consider the different ways to follow this blog or follow me on Twitter where I share most of my posts.
My ISTE PLN EdTech Coaches offers a Blogging Buddies program. I have also sought out other programs such as EduBlogs to help me become more regular in my blogging (read: reflecting) efforts.
I have always loved reading! As an educator I try to read a wide variety of books, but always seem to fall back to English/Early American History and historical fiction and Educational books. If you want to connect on GoodReads I am already friends with many of my Twitter PLN.